I recently found this blog on Analysis of a Personal Avatar and found it interesting.
The topic is of the intended perception but I am curious in the reverse-perception. The perception of the reader on the other end.
As we have browsed, discussed, argued, and been perplexed, offended or amused by other users here we undoubtedly form an image in our minds of who we are interacting with.
My curiosity in it lies in the fact that I have discovered that I do use avatars to form mental pictures of other users and in most cases picture them as their avatar. It's of course a rediculous notion but I am interested in the Psychology behind it.
My questions are: Does the avatar play a significant role in forming a mental image of an anonymous user?
Does it play out in the same realm as story-telling? Do we use our imaginations to add a visual image to our perceptions of the person behind the avatar?
Are there some who do not use the visual of an avatar and come up with a visual perception based on other elements?